Description (From Amazon):
In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.
At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?
I have really enjoyed all of Melanie Dickerson’s Young Adult fairy tales stories. I love reading her take on stories that I have grown up and watched the Disney versions of. I really enjoyed how Dickerson placed all the stories interacting in setting and family members. I couldn't wait to try my hand at another Dickerson's novel.
When I picked up the book, the first fifty percent of the novel had Julia and Nicholas going to ball after ball after ball, wandering who they were going to marry. Julia tried to arrange the good match for her cousin Phoebe without worrying about her own happiness. This reminded me of Emma by Jane Austen. If you haven’t read Emma, but seen Clueless with Alicia Silverstone, then you have the general idea of Emma.
The character's personality stuck out to me the most. Julia is a selfless woman who puts her own desires on hold, but she is strong in knowing what she wants. Brave enough to turn down a marriage match that her uncle wants her to make, but Julia hears rumors that he is bad with money and flirts all the time. Similarly, Nick is selfless is helping out the orphans and women who have been turned away by society. He is brave enough to hunt down the traitor’s and turn them into the government.
The mystery part, being a huge suspense and thrill reader, did not capture my attention. In the first part of the book, Nick does find the diary but doesn’t worry about it for quite a while. Only when he needs help from Julia does the mystery come to the forefront of the novel. After that, the novel picks up pace and ends quite nicely.
Dickerson does a good job at allowing me to truly see into and understand the character’s feelings. As Julia is debating whether or not to tell her cousin, Phoebe about a love match, I debated the occasion with her. Along with Dickerson allowing me to understand the feelings, she does a great job at keeping an even balance between the prose and dialogue. The setting was crisp and allowed me to see the world of Julia and Nick.
Fans of Jane Austen will rejoice for Melanie Dickerson’s A Spy Devotion because of its throwback to the famous writer’s style and concepts even though the mystery did not carry me through the novel. Fans of Jane Austen, Julie Klassen, and Dawn Crandall will love this book. I still anxiously wait for Dickerson’s fairy tales novels.
Side note: I really love the cover!
I received a complimentary copy of A Spy’s Devotion from Waterfall Press and the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Purchase A Spy's Devotion